Dana VanderLugt has been teaching English courses at Hope since fall 2015.

She also teaches English for Hudsonville Public Schools, where she is a leader in her department. Few things bring her more joy than seeing her students find a book they can’t put down or writing something that makes them proud.

Before entering the field of education, she worked in publishing as a travel writer. (She mainly explored the world from her cubicle, but a media tour did earn her a night’s sleep in an ice hotel.)


  • Creative and expository writing: memoir, essays, poetry
  • American literature: fiction, memoir, youth and adolescent literature
  • English education: reading and writing workshop methodology
  • Journalism and publishing


  • M.A., education, Aquinas College, 2008
  • B.A., English, Hope College, 2001


Dana loves sharing ideas and collaborating with fellow educators, students of all ages and other lovers of language. She has presented at the FireUp! Student Teacher Conference, the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Conference and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

She is also a trained FuturePrep educator and has worked with iChallengeU and iChallengeUth programs. During these intensive summer programs, she led students as they worked with Ottawa County area corporate, civic and community leaders to develop solutions to real problems.

Dana has served as the editor for the Bridge to Life Recovery Newsletter, has been a contributor to That Reformed Blog and has her own personal blog, Stumbling Toward Grace. She was also published in The Church Herald and Seeding the Snow: A Journal of Women’s Writing and Artwork that Celebrates the Midwestern Landscape.

Outside hope

Dana’s three young sons provide plenty of stories to fill her head and her notebook. When not grading or chasing her kids around, Dana enjoys traveling, cooking and photography. (She is currently on year five of collecting and blogging a photo a day). Some of her favorite things are shelves bursting with books, laughter and fresh salsa.